Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

The myth behind the Spaghetti alla Puttanesca’s name is rich and “sassy” :)
In Italian, it means “whore's style spaghetti”. Here are some notable ones… One story claims that the recipe is so easy and fast to make that the prostitutes had time to prepare it between two clients… Another one says, that it is such a delicious dish, the prostitutes cooked it next to an opened window, to attract potential clients… Doubting their cooking skills, another version suggested that it is so easy to make, even “women of the night” were able to prepare it! 

The stories might be true or false, but this recipe sure is sexy and delicious! :)) The required ingredients are very usual pantry items, always handy in a Italian or Mediterranean home kitchen. Be careful when seasoning, the anchovies, capers and olives are already packed with salt. The hot red pepper is optional, you can replace it with crushed red pepper flakes or skip it all together. So keep that in mind, and taste before adding any black pepper…

This is by far, on the top of my list for the “last minute” recipes… When we change our plans, don’t have time to prepare anything during the day, or when I’m super busy in the kitchen for a party or a catering project,… this is my “savor-pasta-dish”… in less than 20 minutes, from start to finish… you have a delicious hot meal, packed with flavor and Italian love.

Bon Appétit!


Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Recipe credits: Rafaella Sargi
serves 4

4 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small hot red pepper, finely chopped OR a pinch of read pepper flakes (optional)
6 anchovies filets, finely chopped
14 ½ oz (411 g) canned diced tomatoes (but you can use fresh tomatoes!)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
3 ½ oz (100 g) black olives, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon capers (diced if the variety you’re using is too big)
1 pound (450 g) spaghetti 

Scale and prep all the ingredients.
You will need one frying pan and one big saucepan.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and hot pepper (if using). Cook over medium low heat for 6 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the anchovies and mix well. Incorporate the tomatoes, oregano, olives and capers and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, correct the seasoning, cover and let it simmer… Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boiling stage. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain…
Add the sauce to the spaghetti and serve immediately.


Adapted from La Cuisine des Italiens.